3 DAYS OF THE CONDOR: BluRay Review


Paramount Home Entertainment
Release date: May 19th, 2009
MSRP: $29.99

Director: Sidney Pollack
Stars: Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway, Cliff Robertson, Max von Sydow, John Houseman
Writers: David Rayfiel, James Grady, Lorenzo Semple Jr., James Grady (source novel: Six Days of the Condor)

For those that are looking for a high energy, fast-paced thriller, 3 Days of the Condor is not for you.

If you want a smart thriller with great acting, 3 Days will make you think Christmas has come early.

Robert Redford stars as Joseph Turner, CIA anaylist codenamed Condor. Now before anyone starts to think of Bob (Old pals call him Bob…sometimes Robbo) lurking in alleys and trading shots with Russians, his job is scouring through books in search of anything that might be a code. His office is doubles as a publishing house.

One day, Condor is given the mundane task of picking up lunch for the office. Getting stuck with this job saves his life. While he is gone, a crew of men slaughter all of his co-workers. Justifiably freaked out. Condor finds a payphone and calls in the incident. It turns out that somebody within the Company is behind it.

The rest of the film sees Turner struggling to stay alive long enough to find out what he might have accidentally uncovered and take actions that will secure his future, not financially but in the breathing and staying alive sort of way.

While it may sound like many films you have seen before, Condor is, as I said, not a rock em sock em action flick. We follow a very scared and very paranoid Turner as he attempts to figure out what is going on. Some of his actions are more luck than super skills. He seems like a very smart man in over his head. It is those smarts (as well as a healthy does of paranoia) that keeps him alive. Each time he is faced with a challenge, he rises to the occasion, often just barely. Condor does an excellent job of maintaining tension while allowing us to have faith in Terry.

Redford does an excellent job, as does Faye Dunaway, Cliff Robestson and Max Von Sydow. Von Sydow plays the head of the assassins. His performance is fantastic and presents a quiet professional simply doing his job.

it’s quite restful. It’s almost peaceful. No need to believe in either side, or any side. There is no cause. There’s only yourself. The belief is in your own precision.

Joubert (Max Von Sydow)

Sydney Pollock’s direction conjures memories of vintage Hitchcock. Most of the characters are actually pretty subdued. No over the top villians. Even those that must be considered “baddies” have compelling reasons. The realities of global politics plays a role, yet Pollock avoids being preachy or self-righteous. Everyone’s motivations make total sense.

Video: Condor is presented in 1080p with a ratio of 2.35:1.Condor looks very nice. While the film still has the same drab overcast look, the details in things like clothing really stand out. There is only a very small amount of grain, but I did not see any signs of DNR. I guess the best compliment I can pay it is to say that it looks very natural.
Audio:
The audio is presented in Dolby TrueHD 5.1, though there is precious little to be showcased here. You can notice the front channels being used, but I heard very little backwork being done. It sounds very good, with the dialogue being quite crisp.

Also offered is a French Dolby Digital 2.0 track as well as having subtitles in English, French and Spanish.

Extras:
One freakin’ theatrical trailer. WTF? Readers of our reviews (OK, my reviews) have heard this before, but Paramount really needs to step up when it comes to providing bonus content. Especially on films of a certain level of relevance. Condor is a classic and deserves at least a little love.

3 DAYS OF THE CONDOR is a fantastic film. Pollack does an excellent job with a talented cast and a damn good script. Revisiting it for this review was a true pleasure. Somebody needs to show it to Redford to remind him just how good many of the films he has made are. Watching his recent dreck, one would never guess he is a part of so many great films.

Condor is smart and subtle, with only a few action scenes. And those few are very well done. Embrace the Condor, you will be glad you did.

Order 3 DAYS OF THE CONDOR on Blu-ray.

Jeremy Lynch
For more reviews from myself, and the rest of the Crimespree crew, check out the index of reviews.